The US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert Jackson, says it is very expensive to travel through the Kotoka International Airport as compared to other African countries.
The situation impedes US investment in Ghana and also compels most US investors to focus on other countries within the sub-region, according to him.
Ambassador Jackson, who revealed this when he paid a courtesy call on the Business Development Minister, Mohammed Ibrahim Awal yesterday in Accra, mentioned that hotels in Ghana are also very expensive compared to other African countries.
“There is a steady increase in the number of American companies that want to use Ghana as their West African hub, but there are some things that are also holding them back like very expensive travel cost.
“Your airport is very expensive relative to other airports in the sub-region,” he said.
Ambassador Jackson also complained about the delays in issuing visas to US citizens by the Ghanaian Embassy in the United States.
He said, “We see that the speed with which your Embassy in the United States processes visas is about three weeks. We have our own Visa issues but we process our own Visas within 48 hours.
“I don’t know what process occurs in your embassies overseas but I know that some of your embassies in Europe are far faster than your embassies in Washington.
The US envoy said, “If we are really serious about developing business, then I want to be totally honest and say I like to see the Embassies in Washington moving faster. If you want more visitors and businesses to come to Ghana, then making it easier to get visas will help with that.”
The Business Development Minister, on his part, assured the envoy that issues related to visas would be dealt with to ensure that more US investors travel to Ghana to invest.
He said the Akufo-Addo administration was committed to creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
“I want the relations between the two countries to expand and to do that we will have to work together to eliminate issues that impede business growth in Ghana to attract more US investors,” the Minister told the envoy.
Ghana’s trade volume with the U.S. is estimated at $1.2 billion.
The US contributed to about $900 million, with Ghana accounting for the remaining $300 million.